Glossary


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A

alveolar process of the mandible

upper border of mandibular body that contains the lower teeth


alveolar process of the maxilla

curved, inferior margin of the maxilla that supports and anchors the upper teeth


angle of the mandible

rounded corner located at outside margin of the body and ramus junction


angle of the rib

portion of rib with greatest curvature; together, the rib angles form the most posterior extent of the thoracic cage


anterior (ventral) sacral foramen

one of the series of paired openings located on the anterior (ventral) side of the sacrum


anterior arch

anterior portion of the ring-like C1 (atlas) vertebra


anterior cranial fossa

shallowest and most anterior cranial fossa of the cranial base that extends from the frontal bone to the lesser wing of the sphenoid bone


anterior longitudinal ligament

ligament that runs the length of the vertebral column, uniting the anterior aspects of the vertebral bodies


anulus fibrosus

tough, fibrous outer portion of an intervertebral disc, which is strongly anchored to the bodies of the adjacent vertebrae


appendicular skeleton

all bones of the upper and lower limbs, plus the girdle bones that attach each limb to the axial skeleton


articular tubercle

smooth ridge located on the inferior skull, immediately anterior to the mandibular fossa


atlas

first cervical (C1) vertebra


axial skeleton

central, vertical axis of the body, including the skull, vertebral column, and thoracic cage


axis

second cervical (C2) vertebra


B

body of the rib

shaft portion of a rib


brain case

portion of the skull that contains and protects the brain, consisting of the eight bones that form the cranial base and rounded upper skull


C

calvaria

(also, skullcap) rounded top of the skull


carotid canal

zig-zag tunnel providing passage through the base of the skull for the internal carotid artery to the brain; begins anteromedial to the styloid process and terminates in the middle cranial cavity, near the posterior-lateral base of the sella turcica


cervical curve

posteriorly concave curvature of the cervical vertebral column region; a secondary curve of the vertebral column


cervical vertebrae

seven vertebrae numbered as C1–C7 that are located in the neck region of the vertebral column


clavicular notch

paired notches located on the superior-lateral sides of the sternal manubrium, for articulation with the clavicle


coccyx

small bone located at inferior end of the adult vertebral column that is formed by the fusion of four coccygeal vertebrae; also referred to as the “tailbone”


condylar process of the mandible

thickened upward projection from posterior margin of mandibular ramus


condyle

oval-shaped process located at the top of the condylar process of the mandible


coronal suture

joint that unites the frontal bone to the right and left parietal bones across the top of the skull


coronoid process of the mandible

flattened upward projection from the anterior margin of the mandibular ramus


costal cartilage

hyaline cartilage structure attached to the anterior end of each rib that provides for either direct or indirect attachment of most ribs to the sternum


costal facet

site on the lateral sides of a thoracic vertebra for articulation with the head of a rib


costal groove

shallow groove along the inferior margin of a rib that provides passage for blood vessels and a nerve


cranial cavity

interior space of the skull that houses the brain


cranium


cribriform plate

small, flattened areas with numerous small openings, located to either side of the midline in the floor of the anterior cranial fossa; formed by the ethmoid bone


crista galli

small upward projection located at the midline in the floor of the anterior cranial fossa; formed by the ethmoid bone


D

dens

bony projection (odontoid process) that extends upward from the body of the C2 (axis) vertebra


E

ear ossicles

three small bones located in the middle ear cavity that serve to transmit sound vibrations to the inner ear


ethmoid air cell

one of several small, air-filled spaces located within the lateral sides of the ethmoid bone, between the orbit and upper nasal cavity


ethmoid bone

unpaired bone that forms the roof and upper, lateral walls of the nasal cavity, portions of the floor of the anterior cranial fossa and medial wall of orbit, and the upper portion of the nasal septum


external acoustic meatus

ear canal opening located on the lateral side of the skull


external occipital protuberance

small bump located at the midline on the posterior skull


F

facet

small, flattened area on a bone for an articulation (joint) with another bone, or for muscle attachment


facial bones

fourteen bones that support the facial structures and form the upper and lower jaws and the hard palate


false ribs

vertebrochondral ribs 8–12 whose costal cartilage either attaches indirectly to the sternum via the costal cartilage of the next higher rib or does not attach to the sternum at all


floating ribs

vertebral ribs 11–12 that do not attach to the sternum or to the costal cartilage of another rib


fontanelle

expanded area of fibrous connective tissue that separates the brain case bones of the skull prior to birth and during the first year after birth


foramen lacerum

irregular opening in the base of the skull, located inferior to the exit of carotid canal


foramen magnum

large opening in the occipital bone of the skull through which the spinal cord emerges and the vertebral arteries enter the cranium


foramen ovale of the middle cranial fossa

oval-shaped opening in the floor of the middle cranial fossa


foramen rotundum

round opening in the floor of the middle cranial fossa, located between the superior orbital fissure and foramen ovale


foramen spinosum

small opening in the floor of the middle cranial fossa, located lateral to the foramen ovale


frontal bone

unpaired bone that forms forehead, roof of orbit, and floor of anterior cranial fossa



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